3 Essentials Before Starting Sales Team Training

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Klozers Sales Consulting 3 Essentials Before Starting Sales Team Training

3 Essentials Before Starting Sales Team Training

Most Sales Leaders at some stage will consider Sales Team Training to help their team hit their ever increasing sales targets they have.  There are however some common pitfalls these Leaders want to avoid as unfortunately like most things in life, training your sales team is sometimes not quite as straightforward as one might think.  If the sales training is to be effective and deliver the results the business is looking for here are 3 things we strongly suggest you keep in mind:

1)      COMMITMENT

If you like the sound of increasing sales you are going to need Commitment to get the increase in performance, and hence sales, that you are looking for.  For example:

  1. You will need to be committed enough to take part in the initial Sales Team Training sessions yourself, this is leading by example, and shows your team that you are serious about any training program.  If you don’t take part, chances are your sales people will recognise it is not that important to you, which subliminally tells them it shouldn’t be that important to them.
  2. You will need to be committed enough to look at changing the way your sales people work.  Focusing on quality appointments for example not quantity.  Being busy and being effective are not the same thing and the top sales people know this.  You might need to start recording Key Performance Indicators or start recording different ones.
  3. You will need to be committed to continued development coaching after the training, to ensure the training is not an event but a real learning journey for your team.  “Companies that offer training alone experience a 22.4% increase in productivity, but when combined with coaching that rises to 88%” Public Personnel Management.
  4. You will need to be committed enough to jump on, in public if necessary, any saboteurs who try to derail any changes you make.  People do not like change and some sales people may try their best to resist change.

2)      FOCUS

For a short time until you get some quick wins you are going to have to prioritise Sales over EVERYTHING else in your business.  This means everyday having a ruthless focus on achieving sales goals.  Not financial sales goals, behavioural sales goals.  Focus on Sales Activity by increasing the quality and then, and only then, increase the quantity.

  1. Does the biggest opportunity lie in coaching and training the top performing 20% of your sales team?  Probably not.  If these people are already hitting their sales targets then leave them for now.
  2. Does the biggest opportunity lie in coaching the bottom 20% of your sales team?  Probably not.  The biggest mistake managers make is holding onto underperformers longer than is necessary.  Now there are plenty of exceptions to this rule, because if the company hired these people then company needs to take some responsibility for them.  Generally speaking however, the bottom 20% of sales performers are not the best place to spend your budget.
  3. The biggest opportunity you have is moving the 60% average sales people towards the top 20%.  A mere 1% increase in sales performance multiplied by 60% of your sales team can be huge in terms of revenue.  Typically these people are more interested, more motivated and willing to learn than any of the other groups.  Here is where you need to FOCUS.

3)      MANAGERS

A well drilled high performing sales force will easily outsell your competition but not with a Manager – they need a Leader.  Sales team won’t “above and beyond” for a Manager, but they will for a Sales Leader?  Is the Sales Leader leading from the front and by example, or is he/she Managing from behind?  Does your Sales Leader catch them when they are doing something right, or is he/she a Manager and catching them when they are doing something wrong?

  1. Sales Leaders are more instrumental in the success of any new Sales Team Training than the actual trainer.  A Sales Leader is with a sales team 40 hours a week.  A Sales Coach or a Sales Trainer may only see the team for 1 hour per week. Without a strong leader to reinforce what is taught in class, your Sales Team will more than likely just drift back to the unproductive behaviors that caused you to start a team training programme.
  2. Sales Managers need coaching & training too, as many managers were previously top sales performers and don’t always become a  good sales manager naturally.  The skill set required to effectively Manage sales people is very different to that of a top sales performer.
  3. Do the Sales Managers have the Emotional Intelligence and Intellectual Humility required to lead their team?  If your Managers do not know and understand Emotional Intelligence, and Intellectual Humility, you might want to consider Sales Management Training before Sales Team Training.

 

Sales Team Training is essential if you want to take your business to the next level, however, make sure before you start off that you are on the right path with the right expectations.